Putting Down the Load

The other night I couldn’t sleep. My mind was turning so much I decided to get up
and write out all the thoughts running through my head. There was so much to sort
out, my list of “to do’s” required sub categories. By the time I was done writing the
list I noticed I felt much more settled and calm. I found that interesting because It’s
not like I really got anything accomplished, but by purging and sorting my thoughts
out on paper, it felt like I no longer need to carry them with me. I could simply let
the list rest until the next day, helping still my mind and allowing me to finally fall
asleep. It felt like I had put down a load.
I like this notion of putting something down. It can be a good analogy to use with
those mental/emotional burdens of past regrets, unhappy life turns, or future
events that we want to avoid. When we fixate on these past and future thoughts,
we unknowingly carry them with us like a big heavy load, to every activity and
interaction that we do, ultimately interfering with our ability to be present. Their
presence can lead to feelings of guilt, anger, shame, and fear, which can hold us back
from thinking clearly, reaching our goals, and feeling more peaceful in the moment.
It only makes sense that if we can learn ways to put them down, or lay them aside
somehow to deal with them in their right time; it will help us feel more content and
engaged in life.
So how can we put down these burdens we have? It’s much like my experience
of writing out all my “to do’s” on a list… It’s a process of acknowledgment and
organizing in some way so we can begin to process them. The Phoenix Rising style
yoga therapy work I do is a particularly effective tool in this way as each session
offers the opportunity to identify, through our bodies, what burdens we might
be carrying, and then we are given the opportunity to discover the relationship
or impact on our lives and how to be with this information. When the mental/
emotional angst is acknowledged and its presence accepted (in whatever format),
space emerges, allowing us to see things more objectively. From this place we can
work with the awareness, standing beside it, rather than intertwining self worth and
identity around it, and possibly even being able to put it down.
It’s helpful to remember this is not so much a process of pushing away or fixing,
but rather an experience of distancing so that we see it all laid before us where we
can sort, organize, and discover our relationship to it. Often in life, what troubles
us doesn’t just go away, so feeling like we need to get rid of it or having to change it
only stresses us more. Think of this more as an exercise of gathering awareness and
gaining clarity of what is, which in of itself lessens the charge, or lightens the load
we carry.
Renee is a yoga instructor, kinesiologist, and Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapist. For
more information about or to contact Renee visit inbalancehealth.ca